My book ‘Empire Under Siege’ is free on Amazon! (but only for a few days…).

Adarna 1 - Empire under siege

It’s been a while since I posted a blog and I have to apologise for that 🙂 I’m back on the writing trail though and so far things are going OK. The first draft of the next instalment of the ‘Adarna Chronicles’ is complete! It will take me a very long time to whip the draft into shape, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. I guess you could say the real work is just beginning.

In the meantime, I have decided to give away the first part of the part of the Adarna Chronicles, ‘Empire Under Siege’ totally free on Amazon from the 25th to the 29th August. As if that wasn’t enough, I also have part two ‘Phoenix Rising’ and part three ‘The Great Bear’ for 99 cents (or pence if you live in the UK!) from the 25th to the 31st August.

I would be delighted if you checked them out and let me know your thoughts. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Now, back to the editing…

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‘Empire Under Siege’ is 99c for a limited time!

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

Having been away for a while, I am returning with this quick post to let you know that ‘Empire Under Siege‘, the first book in the ‘Adarna chronicles’ is only 99 cents (or the equivalent in other countries- so for me in the U.K. that would be 79p!) from the 21st to the 24th December on Amazon, so why not check it out (no pressure…).

The reason why I have been flying under the radar for a while will be discussed in a forthcoming post (tentatively entitled ‘My NanowriNO!’. But in the meantime, why not check out ‘Empire Under Siege’? 🙂

Book 3 of the ‘Adarna chronicles’ is out! Pick up your copy of ‘The Great Bear’ today…

The Great Bear

Just a quick note to let you all know that ‘The Great Bear’ is out today! Thanks to everyone out there who offered support, help and sage advice. This was the most difficult book I have written so far and it really took a heavy toll on my time. I really, really hope that you enjoy it 🙂

Unfortunately it’s exclusive to Amazon at the moment, but why not pop over and check it out?

 

My book ‘Paradise’ is free on Amazon right now!

PARADISE Jason K. Lewis

PARADISE Jason K. Lewis

To celebrate the upcoming release of the third book in the ‘Adarna chronicles’ I am currently offering ‘Paradise’, my science fiction novelette for FREE! Please do feel free (pardon the pun) to pop over to Amazon and pick up your copy as the offer ends on the 31st October…

The Great Bear Book three in the ‘Adarna Chronicles’, ‘The Great Bear’ has been a real trial for me (surprise, surprise, each book is harder than the last!). It differs from ‘Empire Under SIege’ and ‘Phoenix Rising’ in many respects, the biggest difference is its length (it’s as long as the other two put together). I am pleased to announce though, that it will be out on the 1st of November at the latest 🙂

 

Thanks to everyone for all of your help, support and advice over the last three months, I couldn’t have done it without you. I hope that you enjoy ‘The Great Bear’ when it is released. In the meantime, why not grab a copy of ‘Paradise’ while you wait?

It’s almost time for a little NanoWriMo action…

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Its been a long time since I last posted and I have had a few adventures (crikey, many posts worth of stories to come…). I thought this was an opportune time to update you on my plans for November. You see I am planning to take part in a thing call NanoWriMo. Not heard of it? Well you should think about checking out their website (www.nanowrimo.org).

NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is essentially a competition or a ‘call to arms’ for writers. It challenges you to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn’t have to be anything special (although we all hope our own contribution will be), just a first draft really.

I first heard about NanoWriMo after I’d started writing and I was actually too late to take part in it in 2012 as I didn’t get the writing bug until early 2013. Because I thought it was a cool undertaking I did my own 50,000 words in a month writing challenge and managed to punch out the first (albeit very rough) draft of the first three episodes of the Adarna Chronicles. It felt like an amazing achievement even though it took many more months to get ‘Empire Under Siege’ and ‘Phoenix Rising’ into publishable format and ‘The Great Bear’ isn’t out until the end of the month (over a year after the first draft!).

In November 2013 I had a young baby to look after and so it just happen that November (so no ‘official’ NanoWriMo).

This year i’ve decided to go for it, my project is entitled ‘Bird of Paradise’, it’s a full length novel and the follow up to my novelette ‘Paradise’ (which was actually the first thing I published). Will I make it to 50,000 words? Who knows (I have an hour a night in which to do it!) but it will be an adventure along the way.

If you ever thought about writing or if you are seeking some motivation, why not jump in and register on the NanoWriMo website? You never know, you just might discover that best seller that you always knew you had in you…

Good luck!

Book cover reveal for ‘The Great Bear’ book 3 of the Adarna chronicles

The Great Bear

Okey dokey then, it’s that time again. (drum roll please…). Here’s the book cover reveal for book 3 of ‘The Adarna Chronicles’, It’s called ‘The Great Bear’ (you can probably tell that by looking at the cover, right?). Let me know what you think. Is it as good as the covers for ‘Empire Under Siege‘ and ‘Phoenix Rising‘? Does it tie in with the image of the series so far? I’ve put a really big version at the bottom of the post so that you can have a good old look.

I think the guys over at Deranged Doctor Design have done an amazing job again (thank you guys!) and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If i’m honest though, this was the hardest one so far! 

The book itself is as long as ‘Empire Under Siege‘ and ‘Phoenix Rising‘ combined, which explains why it is giving me a bit of a headache at the moment. Preliminary structural edits are complete though, so it should be off to the editor within three weeks and then (hopefully!) out before the end of October as promised.

The Great Bear

If you like this post, why not ‘like’ it below? 🙂

 

Getting reviews for your book takes a bit of luck…

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

Anyone in the self publishing world will tell you that getting reviews for your books is really difficult and, put simply, reviews sell books. So how can you get more reviews for your books? There are a few tactics that you can use to get book reviews:-

1) Goodreads giveaways- basically you give away copies of your book in the hope that one of the lucky winners will leave a review. This is quite an expensive option (global postage is not cheap and you will have to give away an actual copy of your book).

2) Amazon giveaways- Make your book free on Amazon (either perma-free or temporarily using the KDP select programme), then sit back and wait for the reviews to roll in. I have some experience of this. I’ve run two giveaways for my science fiction novelette ‘Paradise‘ and I’ve managed to give away almost three thousand copies. The number of reviews that I think can be attributed to the giveaways? My best guess is about ten…

3) Find book reviewers (through twitter or Amazon or blogs) and submit your book to them in the hope that they will choose to review it. I have had some success with this (about six reviews) but it is an awful lot of work and you end up badgering the reviewers and feeling like a pest…

4) Join a book review group on Goodreads or a similar site. There are loads of groups on Goodreads where you can submit your book and, in return for giving honest reviews of other books, you can get a review of your own. Verdict on this one? Well I’ve had some success with this but the problem is that you have to actually read a lot of books and this takes an awfully long time. You then have to leave an honest review (read what you will into that)…

5) Blind luck (read on below to see what I mean…).

I got really lucky this week (or at least I feel really lucky). I got what I consider to be a great review from one of the top fantasy book review sites (fantasybookcritic) for the first two books in the Adarna chronicles (Empire Under Siege and Phoenix Rising). If you want to pop over and read the review, then why not check out their amazing and informative site.

I also got a rather wonderful review for Empire Under Siege from independent book reviewer and blogger L.K.Evans (you can check out her site and the review here).

PHOENIX RISING by Jason K. Lewis

PHOENIX RISING by Jason K. Lewis

The reason I feel lucky? Well, I didn’t search these reviewers out and hound them until they took a look at the books (and every independent author knows that sometimes, just sometimes, it is tempting to do this- see point 3). They each chose to do it on their own.  Yes, that’s right, they actually found my books in the seething ocean of other works that is Amazon et al (which in my view is a minor miracle in itself).

I also feel lucky that they actually liked the books though (coz that’s quite important too, right?). Phew! What a relief (I thought when I read one review). I had known that Mihir, over at fantasybookcritic, would be reviewing the books for the last few weeks and crikey, did I sweat over it 🙂

In other news, I have decided on a title for the third novella in the Adarna chronicles. ‘The Great Bear’ will be released in October… More info, including a cover reveal, to follow soon…

If you liked this post why not ‘like’ it below? Or even follow the blog (top right)?

Experimenting with Amazon KDP Select

Eggs in one basket

I made an important decision today. I determined that, as I really wasn’t selling many books through all the other book vending channels, I would put all of my eggs in one basket. That basket is Amazon, the great titan of the modern publishing world.

I have enrolled all four of my current works (‘Empire Under Siege’, ‘Phoenix Rising’, ‘Paradise’, and ‘The Bloody King’) in Amazon’s KDP select programme.

The KDP select programme works in two ways:-

1) It allows members of Amazon ‘Prime’ to borrow your book for a month through the ‘Kindle owners lending library’.

2) It allows members of Amazon’s new subscription service ‘Amazon unlimited’ (which they pay $9.99 a month for and allows them to read as many books as they like) to download your book.

What does this mean? I hear you say… Well, if an Amazon Prime member borrows your book or an Amazon unlimited subscriber reads more than 10% of you book, then you earn a share of the ‘KDP select global fund’. For the month of September the global fund stands at 3 million dollars with the average amount being paid for each book being about $1.80 (as far as I can tell).

The only downside is that you have to remove your book from all other vending channels. This is a bit of pain but it may be worth it… (I hope).

Will it work? Will this move generate additional sales? Who knows… But I don’t really have anything to lose as the books weren’t really selling through the other channels anyway 🙂

I feel like I am experimenting a lot with different things at the moment but I guess that is the lot of the indie author. I will report back on my little experiment when I have some useful data. In the meantime, if you are an Amazon ‘Prime’ or ‘Unlimited’ member, why not pop on over to Amazon and have a read of my books? 🙂

If you like this post why not ‘like’ it below? You could even follow my blog for updates (top right).

 

Do Amazon ‘giveaways’ increase book sales?

free

As a budding indie author I have spent the best part of the last two years researching how to go about self publishing my work. Purely and simply this is because I do not have the confidence (as yet, and frankly I don’t know if I ever will), to submit to a traditional publishing house. There are a plethora of posts on the internet from interesting and informative authors, who provide a wealth of information to a horde of avid readers that desperately want to get their work published and recognised.

One of the most discussed themes for getting more sales is giving your book away. To me this seemed like the silliest concept in the world.

Give my book away! I thought. You must be bloomin’ joking! I worked my ass off on it! Not to mention the fact that it cost a fortune to get a professional cover design and editing. That’s just an insane idea!

I maintained my initial view for a few weeks. That is until the sorry reality of the Amazon marketplace struck home. The truth is that it is really difficult to sell books, particularly in a genre like science fiction or fantasy (which I tend to gravitate toward). Believe it or not, far more romances are sold (not to mention the gazillion iterations of teenage angsty vampire books that are out there) than any other fiction. Fantasy and science fiction are by no means small genres, but there is another problem. It seems that a disproportionately large number of people (myself included) think that they should have a go at writing the next ‘Lord or the Rings’ or ‘Dune’. That has lead to a marketplace that is absolutely saturated. It is also a marketplace where it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not to mention the fact that if the Amazon algorithms don’t pick you up, your book, no matter how good, can sink to the bottom of the huge mountain of other wannabe Tolkiens.

Anyway. It’s difficult. Nuff said. To cut a long story short, I released three pieces of work (‘Paradise’, ‘Empire Under Siege’ and ‘The Bloody King’) and none of them were selling particularly well. Suddenly an Amazon giveaway seemed like a good way to go.

So, a few weeks ago, I posted a giveaway for my novelette ‘Paradise’. It is a piece of work that I am immensely proud of and it currently has ten reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.7 stars. These are real reviews from real people with no vested interest in giving me a good review at all (i.e. they are not bought on the internet or from friends and relatives etc).

There are two routes you can use to give books away on Amazon. You can reduce the price of your book to nothing on the other sales channels and then get people to write to Amazon, who should (eventually) price match the book. I used the second option, which is to enrol in the KDP select programme which gives you five days in any ninety day period when you can give your books away.

The problem I had was that I waited so long, that when I wanted to post my giveaway, my ninety days were almost up. I promptly panicked and visited a great website called authormarketingclub.com that lists a load of websites that will post your free book up to their readers (and include your free book in their newsletters). I listed ‘Paradise’, on all of the websites I could, as free from the next day. In retrospect this was a big mistake as many of the sites have submission deadlines and so did not feature ‘Paradise’ on their sites.

Over the next four days I tweeted like crazy about my free book and (probably mostly through this) managed to get about 400 downloads (although I must have driven my followers mad…). This does not compare well to the thousands that other authors claim to get, but it was better than nothing (I thought).

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The result of my massive giveaway? Was there an enormous boost in sales? Did I recoup all of the expenses generated in publishing my works? Do I now have a huge following of fans who are desperate to read my next book?

I saw a fifty percent increase in sales. Did they all result from the giveaway? Probably not (my sales were growing slowly anyway and I released the second book in the ‘Adarna chronicles’, ‘Phoenix Rising’ recently). Essentially, it was a small increase on a small number.

Finally. In answer to the question ‘Do Amazon giveaways work?’ I would have to say that, for me, the jury is still out. For this reason I am going to run another giveaway for ‘Paradise’, but this time I have done everything right. The postings have been submitted in advance. The giveaway starts on the 25th August and finishes on the 27th. Why not pick up a copy and see what you think?

I will report back on the results of the second giveaway in a few weeks. Until then, would I recommend that you try it yourself? Hmmm…

If you like this post why not ‘like’ it below or share it on twitter or something like that. You could even follow my blog (button on the top right).

‘The Bloody King’ is FREE! (Everywhere except Amazon!)

The Bloody King final3last one for Marinbookworks

Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you know the my short story ‘The Bloody King’, a dark thriller set in London, is now free to download until the end of the month.

Rather amusingly, the only place it isn’t free to download is Amazon (sorry about that but I don’t want to make it perma-free as yet).

Please do help yourselves to a copy as a reward for tuning in to my ramblings for the last year or so. But please do be aware that it is very different to my other works.

I am doing this as an experiment to see whether it helps with attracting readers to my work. This is a slightly strange experiment because ‘The Bloody King’ is a thriller and my other work is fantasy or science fiction, but hey ho, it is all I have to give away at the moment 🙂

If you would like to help me with this experiment please do tweet about the free offer. I will then report back at a later date with the results!

Not sure how this will go as the market is absolutely saturated with free books at the moment, but you never know!

Here are the links to all the sites you can download from:-

‘The Bloody King’ on NOOK

‘The Bloody King’ on KOBO

‘The Bloody King’ on iTunes

All the best

Jason